Order of the Phoenix chapters 25-28 discussion

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Order of the Phoenix chapters 25-28 discussion

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apr 21, 2008, 9:00 am

Here are this week's chapters:

25: The Beetle at Bay
26: Seen and Unforeseen
27: The Centaur and the Snitch
28: Snape's Worst Memory

And we're off!

Housekeeping note: last week, Bib suggested that we read five chapters for the next two weeks to finish off the book. Sounds like a good idea to me -- what does everyone else think?

apr 21, 2008, 9:43 am

Chapter 25:

- Rookwood is also described as having "greasy hair" -- apparently, greasy hair in a guy is a real turn-off for JKR. (Not that I blame her -- just sayin'.)

- I love Hermione here: "It . . . well, I don't know whether . . . but it's worth trying . . . and I'm the only one who can . . ." -- and Ron's reaction: "I hate it when she does that. . . . Would it kill her to tell us what she's up to for once?" I do the same thing as Hermione sometimes, and I'm sure it's just as infuriating to those around me!

- Professor Vector is described as "frightened-looking" -- I wonder if this is due to the mass breakout, or the fact that Hagrid just nearly accidentally backhanded him?

- Go, Hermione! "How many times have you suspected Snape, and when have you ever been right?"

- The description of how Harry feels when going to meet Cho for their Hogsmeade date is great: "Harry's feet seemed to be too big for his body as he walked toward her, and he was suddenly horribly aware of his arms and how stupid they looked swinging at his sides." -- Good insight on JKR's part; I know just how Harry felt.

- I would not think that cupids throwing confetti over tables in an eating establishment would be a good idea. Wouldn't more patrons than just Harry be annoyed at confetti in their food and drinks?

- Poor Cho! Poor Hagrid! And poor Harry who is really having a rough day of it, come to think of it. Of course, considering the way Valentines Day usually goes for me, guess it's par for the course. ;-)

- I'm a little skeptical that so many people would take Harry's interview seriously, if published in the Quibbler. I'll get into this more in my notes on the next chapter, when I get around to posting them.

apr 21, 2008, 10:59 am

I didn't get a chance to finish reading this weekend, I still have one chapter to go and I forgot to bring my notes to work with me, so I'll have to post later.

I have much to say about what you've already said foggi, but my back is killing me so much that I think I might be going home, and I can't think to put coherent thoughts together at the moment.

Obviously I think doing 5 chapters each in the next 2 weeks is a good idea! :)

apr 21, 2008, 2:37 pm

#2 *thinks about edible Easter grass* maybe the confetti was edible?

apr 21, 2008, 7:35 pm

OK, on pg 554 Harry is thinking about how he feels even more sensitive to Voldy since he started Occlumency. Harry just doesn't want to let go of that connection. Why, oh why, would DD think Snape could get through to Harry? Snape is stupid enough to think Harry's just dumb, not resistant.

The date with Cho is deliciously uncomfortable, just like anyone's first date....JKR is great at adolescent emotions.

"Hermione, you're good on feelings and stuff, but you just don't understand about Quidditch." hehehe

"Is that a crime now? Getting mail?" I love Fred.

OK, please tell me how it is so easy for Harry to penetrate Snape's mind (he does it on his first try of Protego) and Snape is supposed to be this great Occlumens, who has been able to work as a double agent against the world's best Legilimens, Voldy himself? That has always bugged me. Wouldn't it be a very big risk even having Snape be the one to teach Harry, given that they know Voldy is trying to penetrate Harry's mind? Voldy could find out Snape's true allegance through Harry.

Did they show Trelawney's drinking in the movies? Can't remember.

Love Firenze.

James is a prat. I really love the whole Snape's memory scene....glad JKR made James human. Although Lily is a little too perfect.

apr 21, 2008, 9:48 pm

#5 -- Harry penetrating Snape's mind: I think this is simply because Harry has the potential to be a much better Occlumens than Snape suspects. Snape thinks that Harry is lazy (well, he hasn't been practicing) and that he doesn't have control over his own emotions (well, as Bib keeps pointing out, he is only 15) -- Snape doesn't give Harry credit for having any natural talent at Occlumency, whereas readers know that Harry was able to throw off the Imperius curse, which would seem to require a similar sort of mental effort. Snape's bias against Harry causes Snape to underestimate Harry (which becomes something of a self-fulfilling prophecy, fueled by mutual dislike). And I don't think there was a danger of Voldy learning that Snape was really on the good side via Harry's mind -- all Voldy could have learned was that Harry, the Order, and Dumbledore thought that Snape was on their side -- a good thing, as far as Voldy is concerned.

And re: Lily -- Yes. She's pretty, popular, and smart. I would have hated her. ;-)

apr 21, 2008, 9:57 pm

I am reading along but so far I have nothing to add except that I love when Rita Skeeter calls Hermione "little Miss Perfect"!

apr 21, 2008, 10:50 pm

Chapter 26: Wow, I have a lot of notes on this chapter!

- I was going to speculate on how effective publishing an interview in the Quibbler would be, but then I decided that I don't really have a problem with it.

- Hermione makes me giggle: "Harry, you're worse than Ron. . . . Well, no, you're not." Obviously, she likes Ron -- comments like this are a dead giveaway.

- I love that Ginny broke into the broom shed. She's such a Weasley, in the very best sense.

- I'm with Hermione on the wondering if the competition related to Quidditch is a good thing. I mean, healthy competition is great, but the rivalry between Gryffindor and Slytherin goes way beyond that. But I'm not much of a sports fan, so take my opinion for what it's worth.

- This is the chapter where it really felt like JKR was harping on the dreams about the stupid door. It seems like those references could have been edited down a good bit without hurting the story.

- I'm always amazed that they dive into the pile of fan mail, after the trouble they had with last year's letters (especially the one that squirted Hermione with bubotuber pus). But my bigger question is, isn't Umbridge searching the mail? Why is she surprised at all the mail Harry is getting?

- Yes! Banning something is the absolute best way to ensure its popularity. Even the HP series benefited from this phenomenon somewhat, and I'm convinced that The DaVinci Code's runaway popularity can be also be attributed partially to the number of people who condemned it.

- Harry continues to be an idiot. (I think this was in reference to him not wanting to talk to DD about his visions/dreams/whatever.)

- While Snape's line about Harry being 'neither special nor important" was overly harsh, it was a message that Harry probably needed to hear. Teenagers always have the deep, abiding conviction that it really is all about them. (I include my former self in this generalization, lest any feathers get ruffled.) Yeah, Harry is special and important -- the series is named after him, yanno -- but his conviction that he is always right, and always the only one who can solve any problem, is one of his persistent weaknesses.

- I love how JKR sums up Snape's childhood so perfectly in three memories, not even allotted a full sentence a piece. When we get the rest of his memories, they stand in stark contrast to the ones we see here.

- Note the bravery of Snape: they hear a scream, and he is first out the door to investigate, wand at the ready -- not, perhaps, with the sense of heroics that Harry would have, but because it's what he does. (Then again, I'm a bit biased. But you knew that.)

- I wonder who Umbridge had in mind to teach Divination?

apr 21, 2008, 11:05 pm

This is the chapter where it really felt like JKR was harping on the dreams about the stupid door.

Word up!

Everything you say about Snape is so insightful. Obviously, you've given his character a lot of thought. He is perhaps JKR's most brilliant creation.

I still don't think Harry should have been able to see his memories, but you have to make allowances for plot, I guess.

apr 22, 2008, 1:41 am

fd, get outta my head!!!

um, for real - you're making me reconsider my decision to decline librarianship as a course of study. you rock :)

apr 22, 2008, 7:59 am

*blush* Aw, shucks! Thanks, laia.

apr 22, 2008, 8:53 am

Chapter 27:

- I love Hermione's response to Lavender and Parvati's teacher-crush on Firenze: "He's still got four legs."

- Divination under Firenze sounds much better than under Trelawney, though both of them have pretty cool classrooms, when you think about it.

- I have to agree with Hermione -- patronuses are a great idea. I wonder why hers was an otter, though? It's not an animal I'd associate with her personality.

- Yay, Dobby!

- McGonagall still rocks: "What an interesting insight into our justice system!"

- I love the closing line: ". . . you cannot deny he's got style. . . ." It is spoken by Phineas Nigellus in the book, but reassigned to Kingsley in the movie. Both of those options work, I think.

apr 22, 2008, 9:57 am

Okay, I'm back and ready to go! Let me start with addressing what others have already said and then I'll move on to my own notes!

#2 Many of your notes are notes that I also had. I was going to address your Quibbler thing, but then saw your next post and no longer need to!

#8 Again, we have many of the same notes. (I think when I post my notes I will still post all of them, so that you can see how similar some of our thoughts were). I love how Snape is the first one out of the door at the scream. It speaks volumes about his true character.

#12 Maybe the otter reflects a part of Hermione's personality that she tries to hide? I agree. I think I read somewhere that it's JKR's fave animal and that why she chose it for Hermione. Yep, to everything else!

apr 22, 2008, 10:09 am

Okay, here we go with my notes!

Chapter 25:

1. Dolohov was the murderer of Ron's uncles. I plan to try to remember to pay more attention to his and Ron's interaction at the Ministry later.

2. An interesting difference in the UK version its a "pot plant" not a "potted plant".

3. I love everytime Hermione doesn't finish a sentence. They always make me laugh, especially when we get a reaction from Ron.

4. Educational decree number 26 is ridiculous and I love the way Lee Jordan points it out to Umbridge (although of course sorry that he ends up in detention).

5. HOW can Umbridge be at EVERY Care of Magical Creatures class AND Divination class AND still teach her own class? I can only think that maybe she has a time-turner in which case, they wouldn't have ALL been destroyed later, although maybe if she had it on her it would be destroyed during her time with the Centaurs?

6. I love seeing Neville get motivated. He's so awesome. I think he might be one of my favorite characters!

7. "DD trusts him and if we can't trust DD we can't trust anyone" says Hermione. At this point, should they trust DD? I know in the end, everything he's doing he's doing for the greater good...but he's making bad decisions. I think it's interesting that such an intelligent girl should advocate blind trust in anyone.

8. Too big feet and not knowing what to do with your arms? I can completely relate.

9. Nitpicking: Cho says something about the first time they played each other "in the third year". It was his third year, but it was her fourth.

10. I wonder if Hogsmeade is unplottable. They seem to make no attempts to hide the magic there, so I imagine they must have a way to make sure Muggles don't go wandering in to the Village.

11. I find Cho really annoying here. Although, Harry is stupid for telling her about meeting Hermione that way.

12. I really missed all the Quibbler stuff in the movie.

13. Hermione is a genius!

14. It's sad to me that Rita never learns, but that is one of the great things about JKR, in real life, you don't always learn the lesson you should and she has characters who never learn or change either. Rita, Umbridge...

apr 22, 2008, 10:13 am

I agree that otter is a weird choice for Hermione. I'm thinking more raccoon, you know, something inquisitive and clever. Something known for its intelligence more than its exuberance.

apr 22, 2008, 10:16 am

bib's post 14, number 7 re: Hermione's blind faith in DD. At the time she is defending Snape. In that particular case, she happens to be right, but I know what you mean.

I think she's just trying to get Harry to do his Occulmency lessions. That is something everyone but Harry is right about.

apr 22, 2008, 10:21 am

Chapter 26:

1. Neville makes me want to cry. (I know big surprise, something that makes bib cry!)

2. "Harry you're worse than Ron, well maybe not" I also wrote this down as a favorite quote!

3. I love that Ron wants Hermione to write a book and then it made me think of the book in DH that he keeps using. Probably would have liked it better if the girl he was interested in had written the book though, I'm sure it would have made it much easier for him!

4. "You're good at feelings & stuff, but you don't understand about Quiddich". Ahh...the fundamental differences between girls and boys...

5. Here's another example of catching the Snitch but losing the game!

6. Angelina redeems herself slightly for how obnoxious she's been throughout the book so far by showing such faith in Ron.

7. Expelled for having a copy of a magazine?! That's ridiculous!

8. I love the way the teachers express their feelings about Harry's interview. It always makes me smile. 20 points for passing a water can! Sugar mice! But the best has to be Trelawney predicting Harry living a long happy life!

9. I wonder if there were more memories than just the one we see in the Pensieve. It seems that Snape would have plenty of other memories involving Lily that he wouldn't want Harry to see. Actually, there are other memories too, for instance him overhearing the prophecy. Conversations with LV. Etc.

10. Okay, so as I understand it, LV now knows about the connection and is purposely putting the visions of the hallway and door in Harry's head, so I'm wondering if at this point when both LV and Snape were in Harry's head at the same time, if they sensed each other, or at the very least is Snape sensed LV and that's why he broke off the connection.

11. I wonder why Umbridge so disliked Trelawney.

12. I didn't like this part in the movie, when DD shows up, it wasn't as powerful as it is in the books, framed in the doorways with the stars and moonlight...I also think that Gambon often seems too angry too fast. What makes DD so interesting to me is how he stays calm until he is MAD! That being said, this is a great DD moment!

apr 22, 2008, 10:29 am

10. Okay, so as I understand it, LV now knows about the connection and is purposely putting the visions of the hallway and door in Harry's head, so I'm wondering if at this point when both LV and Snape were in Harry's head at the same time, if they sensed each other, or at the very least is Snape sensed LV and that's why he broke off the connection.

That's what I was talking about above. Voldy & Snape wandering around in Harry's head is risky for the Order. Poor Harry!

11. I wonder why Umbridge so disliked Trelawney.

Perhaps Umbridge knows that Trelawney spoke the prophecy. Not sure how she would know that, but....maybe Fudge does at least, and Trelawney is suspect. It could just be that she's been protected by Dumbledore. Anyone that is somewhat incompetent that DD wants around would be suspect.

Actually, DD dishes out lots of favours to friends who aren't exactly the best teachers. (Trelawney, Hagrid) Is that in the best interest of his students?

apr 22, 2008, 10:33 am

#16 I agree with everything you say, I should have put something along those lines in what I said, but I'm glad you brought it up!

Chapter 27:

1. I remember when I occasionally used to get to have classes outside. I would have loved Firenze's classroom! That would have made taking divination worth it!

2. I've always enjoyed the image of Parvati raising her hand while laying on the ground!

3. I like that Firenze's brand of Divination is focused on the big picture, it makes far more sense than the "human" divination of Trelawny!

4. Why does Hagrid have a bucket of Knarl droppings in his hut? People with Fantastic Beasts, does it say anything about Knarl droppings?

5. Why didn't they notice that Marietta was missing? I think I would have taken roll, as an added precaution!

6. Umbridge is EVIL.

7. Again I've written Hermione is a genius. Last time it was because of the Quibbler. This time it's because of her jinx!

8. I would love to know DD's initial reaction to seeing the name Dumbledore's Army. I know it says he seems speechless. I wonder if he feels at all bad at this point for the way he's behaved around Harry. I'm sure he's incredibly touched and proud at that moment.

9. I think that this book is when I decided just how truly awesome McG is. Everything she says and does in this book makes me grin a big stupid grin!

10. DD says to Harry the he will "understand soon enough" why Occulmency is so important. HOW?!?! No one is explaining it to him? I assume DD wanted him to understand why without all the ministry stuff and Sirius dying. What was he planning? Or is he being a moron yet again? Arrrgggghhhh!!!!!!!

apr 22, 2008, 10:36 am

#18 11: I actually have that down in my notes but I decided not to write it, because I wasn't sure if it made sense, here's my exact note: "Why did she so dislike Trelawney? Did she know about the prophecy? Fudge probably does, even if they don't know the content, they know the subjects and who made it. If she does know about the Prophecy why does she want to keep Trelawney from Harry? What does she think it says?

apr 22, 2008, 10:49 am

Chapter 28:

1. I wonder how Headmasters are usually chosen? If they are named by the Minister of Magic then she should technically be able to get into the office, shouldn't she? Or is she not because DD hasn't resigned, died or been fired (technically)? I suppose the Governors probably choose the Headmaster usually, right? I wonder what their reaction was to the Minister usurping their right.

2. I love the name of the Inquisitorial Squad. JKR is so good at invoking emotions with a name. I immediately think of the Spanish Inquisition of course and the political ramifications of it and how they match up to what Umbridge is doing.

3. Here is the 2nd time the Vanishing Cabinet at the school has been mentioned in the course of the series. I think it's interesting that at times JKR does "harp on" about things (yes the dream gets really annoying foggi and lg!) and at other times throws in such tiny mentions of things that end up being so HUGELY important! (Both cabinets are mentioned in CoS).

4. Why does it take Harry so long to figure out what Umbridge is trying to do? He really is not that bright at times.


6. The other teacher's reactions to the fireworks are priceless! I notice in things like this we don't get to hear about Snape's reaction. I do wonder what he did.

7. YAY the BREAKUP! I really don't like Cho.

8. How could Harry not know his mother's initials? I find it difficult to believe that he never knew his Aunt's maiden name and was unable to realize that that would also be his mom's maiden name. Is it a boy thing?

9. Here's what bother's me about this Pensieve scene...it appears that Snape wasn't in earshot of the Marauders so how could he have their conversation in his memory?

10. Is it just me, or did Snape use Sectusempra on James? (before lg and foggi jump down my throat, I'm not saying what James and Sirius did was right, but Sectusempra is a horrible curse and not justified here)

11. I always used to think "That's Snapes worst memory? I mean, yes humiliating but come on, you were a Death Eater, you told Voldy about the Prophecy, surely worse things have happened?! Now after DH though, it makes far more sense and I can see why he would consider this his worst memory, this is when he lost Lily.

apr 22, 2008, 9:54 pm

Actually, DD dishes out lots of favours to friends who aren't exactly the best teachers.

When Dumbeldore went to interview Trelawney he was thinking of dropping Divination from the curriculum but gave her a chance to at least talk to him. I think he hired her and kept her on to protect her from Voldemort and his followers. They would have been able to get the prophecy out of her.

Redigerat: apr 22, 2008, 10:01 pm

I agree compski! And Hagrid's very good at his gamekeeping duties, although I do question his abilities as a teacher. I also feel like if you were to name people DD kept around even though they aren't good teachers you have to name Snape too. *Ducks to avoid hurled objects from foggi and lg* He is not a good teacher, he uses fear and intimidation to rule his students and very few of them seem to truly "learn" anything.

ETA of course DD has reasons to keep Snape around too, and I love Snape, I just wouldn't want him as a professor.

apr 23, 2008, 9:14 am

well I don't know how it is in british schools and here in USA its different then it was when I was a kid, but several of my teacher's kept order thru fear ,intimidation and humiliation, just like Snape

apr 23, 2008, 10:04 am

Oh, I agree that it is a method that is often employed, but I don't think that is what makes a good teacher. To me the main thing that makes you a good teacher is that people learn from you. I don't feel that Harry, Ron, Neville or anybody other than Slytherins and people like Hermione actually learned anything from Snape (unless you count the HBP's book, which I don't, because he didn't intend to have anyone learn from him.)

apr 23, 2008, 10:11 am

I agree, bib, Snape's effectiveness as a teacher is ruined by his personality problems. Teachers should be able to remain impartial. Those little brats should never know how you really feel about them. ;-)

As for the others, of course DD has his very good reasons to keep Trelawney and Hagrid close. My quibble was about whether this contributes to the general good of the student population.

apr 23, 2008, 10:13 am

Harry got an Exceeds Expectations O.W.L in potions so he must have learned something from Snape.

apr 23, 2008, 10:17 am

#27 I think he just studied hard because he knew he needed to get an "O" to continue, and he had to take Potions to be an auror, I think that it was pure motivation on Harry's part and nothing Snape did.

#26 Yes, I think it certainly had something of a deleterious effect on the student body. Luckily both Div. and CoMC are electives, so not all the students had these teachers.

Redigerat: apr 23, 2008, 10:34 am

In regards to the good/bad teacher question, teaching at Hogwarts does not seem to be a desirable job in the Wizarding community. Even people who ostensibly want to teach often really have other motives (i.e. Voldy wanting the DADA job, mostly to gather followers, and because he had some sort of sentimental attachment to Hogwarts). Many of the teachers there (McGonagall, Sprout, Flitwick) are very good at what they do, but like the real world, for those people teaching seems to be a vocation (more than just a job).

Granted, part of the reason teachers were so hard to find might have been because of the "curse" on the DADA job, but it sounds like they weren't exactly lining up to teach CoMC, or, for that matter, Potions (when Snape took the DADA job). DD seemed to get many of his teachers by calling in favors owed to him (Slughorn, Moody).

I suspect that, like in the Muggle world, teachers at Hogwarts get neither the respect nor the pay that they probably deserve.

ETA: I agree -- Snape was not a good teacher. So, no throwing things at anybody on that point.

apr 23, 2008, 10:46 am

#29 Good point foggi! That certainly is another good explanation for keeping these teachers around. It is true that most of the teachers we see regularly aren't very good. I wonder about Sinistra, Vector, and the Muggle Studies and Runes teachers (I can't remember their names). We know the Muggle Studies teacher dies at the hands of LV but I can't think that we know much else about her. Hmmmm....

apr 23, 2008, 11:56 am

Are you sure CoMC was an elective? It seems like there would have been a lot of student who would have dropped it if they could in Hagrid's first year of teaching (what were those things? Blast-ended Skrewts?). And Harry sure hated Divination, why didn't he drop it Hermione? Was it that he couldn't handle Arthmancy or Runes?

apr 23, 2008, 12:03 pm

Technically in the 3rd year they got to sign up for "electives" and are supposed to stick with these through their 5th year. I believe the only reason Hermione was allowed to quit her classes was because she was taking so many classes and did so well in them.